What’s on my sewing table?

Pattern grading square, tape measure, french curve and pencil

I’ve finally decided to knuckle down to the Ginger jeans that have been on my list for 18 months, so I’m knee-deep in tracing paper, fitting guides, masking tape and pins.

New trouser patterns always bring out a few nerves because it can be a pretty tedious process running up two or three toiles/muslins to try to get the fit right. But here I’m working with stretch denim (2% elastane, decent quality, pre-washed twice – I’m being good). So how the heck do you successfully toile a pair of jeans without purchasing double, triple or quadruple the amount of fabric you actually need?

As far as I can tell, there are three options:

  1. Give tissue fitting a go. (This pattern has negative ease at the hips, so I’m not sure how this works in tissue…)
  2. Cut the seam allowances extra wide and try to pin fit the real thing
  3. Make up the real thing and just cross my fingers it comes out as a wearable muslin rather than a complete nightmare.

Which would you do?


  1. Good luck with your Gingers! I love mine and am soon to start making my third pair 🙂 For my first pair I cut out everything except the waistband and then basted it all together (and stay stitched the waist seam so that it wouldn’t stretch out) as a test fit. Unpicking all those seams obviously wasn’t the most fun task, but overall no more work than making a toile and didn’t waste any fabric. I needed to take a wedge out of the centre back so then cut out the waistband based on that change. I did also baste the side seams to check the fit again after sewing everything up properly, so certainly not a quick make but the effort was totally worth it for the wear (and joy!) I’ve gotten from them.


    • Thank you for the reminder about staystitching – I was going to completely forget that. I think I need to follow a similar process to you – I hope I can make it work just as well!


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